How to find us
  Join us
  Contact us


In 1897, St Mary's Church in Cowes had a Restoration Fund to raise money for necessary work on its foundations. It was decided to hold a concert. That performance proved so popular that it was decided to be a little more ambitious and to stage a musical play.. and that's how the Cowes Amateur Operatic Society came into being. Later, when it began to stage dramatic plays in addition to musicals its title was expanded to the one more usually referred to today as CAODS.

Its first performance in 1898 was The Mandarin and that set the scene for this little village amateur company to stage musicals, operettas, plays and concerts right up to the present day. There was inevitably a break in the run of continuous performances during the war years - though even those dark days have left a legacy to the theatre in the shape of the Trinity Ghost.

In 1998 the Society celebrated its Centenary and that auspicious occasion was marked by the preparation of a book charting the history and every performance of the Society. There are very few amateur operatic and dramatic societies who can boast of a history as long and as varied as CAODS. In 1906 the Society performed the musical DOROTHY before Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Beatrice (who became the Society's Patron), the King of Spain and the Royal Court attendants. King Alfonso was to have been accompanied by Princess Ena of Battenburg , to whom he was bethrowed, but she was indisposed. Quite a coup for a quiet village amateur group.

There have been other landmark performances. CAODS was the first amateur company to be granted the performing rights for the first amateur premier of 'ALLO 'ALLO - the hit TV comedy show. The Society took its production of PYGMALION to France in 1968 and in 1992 the Society presented an outstanding production of MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL in St Mary's Church in Cowes.

CAODS is most fortunate to own the theatre it calls home. Throughout its history - like most amateur companies - it performed in church halls, town halls and local theatres. But when in 1983 the opportunity presented itself to purchase Trinity Hall in Cowes, the then Society members showed their commitment to the value of securing for posterity a place for local talent to be nurtured and honed and they bought the building. The Members converted the hall into the splendid theatre we see today and down the years have worked hard to maintain the fabric and modernise the facilities as funds and energy allowed.

Down the years the repertoire has matched the broad band of public taste and demand. There have been stirring musicals, dramatic presentations of drama and farce. And there is the annual Pantomime - so beloved of adults and children alike. The Society has fostered young performers and there have been some notable productions by the junior members of the Society. A number of the young players who have performed in our Society have gone on to star on the London stage.

The CAODS is proud of its history - and its story is told in the Centenary publication "One Hundred Years of the Cowes Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society" by Declan Cleary - one of the Society's members. This history charts the social changes that have shaped the Society's development and every production is catalogued with the stories and gossip which offer a flavour of the fun and excitement enjoyed by CAODS' Members down the years

Copies of "One Hundred Years of the Cowes Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society" are available from the author - Dec Cleary, 4 Battery Rd., Cowes. PO31 8DP priced 3. to include postage and packaging.



[Reminder ]  [Events ]  [ News ]  [ Location ]  [ History ] [ Membership ]  [ Contact us ]


site donated by wordpooldesign.co.uk & supported by UK Theatre Tickets